Elizabeth Oswald Mason (Ms. Mason)

D&D Short Stories:

The Adventures of Ms. Mason

*Ms. Mason is a level 4 Rogue, in the skill of perception, device disable (lock picking), etc.

Late May in the year of 1880, in England

        After my last adventure solving a very strange tradition of a scavenger hunt with my fellow companions, older and wiser than myself, I decided to search elsewhere for my adventures. The first thing I decided to do after my long and tiring adventure was to buy some new supplies with the money I had just received.

        I bought a well trained snowy owl, which I named Hedwig, then a beautiful sword of Mithral, a lighter metal, but very strong. It also had the power to run strong electricity through its core, striking my opponent with the world’s awesomeness attack. Thenceforth naming it “Sacred Lightning”.

        Moving west, I then situated myself in a small building, middle class, and started my own business for adventures and detective cases.

For a long time, I did not get very interesting missions, mostly boring cases, such as finding a lost cat and such. There was even this time when I was even paid to unlock a closet for a poor bald guy to get to his lost toupee.

        But one day, a man in a elegant black suit came in, holding his top hat and cane as he closed the door against the heavy wind and downpour. Setting aside his gorgeous cane of black ebony, and fixing his unfixable hair, he turned and looked at me.

        I watched him from my chair, as he looked back at me, as if to read the history of my life. He turned his head to the side- a lost puppy dog in a storm. I scoffed aloud, knowing exactly what he was to say next.

        As I practically read his lips before he spoke them, he asked with a frown, “Are you the great detective people tell their tales of?” he spoke with disgrace.

        “Hmmph.” I muttered.  “Is there a problem?”

        “Well, it’s just that you're a- a-”

        “Are you looking for the word ‘woman’?”

        The man stuttered, “Well, I, um,  just, um, well I was just- y’know- expecting......um”

        “A man to do the job?” I now said without anger, but pure amusement at what he was to say next.

        “no,- yes- um....maybe?”

        I had amusement for these kind of things, but I still felt the urge to just lead him out the door, slamming it on his beautiful cane, and breaking it with a harsh crack as he would leave. But instead, I decided to finally give in to the reputation of being a woman............or at least he thought.

        “I am just joking my good fellow’ I said with a laugh, “I am but just a secretary for my employer, the detective, who is sick in bed today”

        The man looked back over his shoulder just as he was about to leave the somewhat awkward scene.

        “Oh- oh well in that case” he said in joy, adding confidence to his tone, “write this down.”

        I took out my small notebook, quill, and ink.

        “A murder has just set upon the land- a- a- very unusual case, if I might add” he claimed, “You see, I my name is Mr. Brown, and I work for the local newspaper.”

        He stopped for a moment, looking around the room, then quickly ran to my side, whispering into my ear, “Something very bad has happened. Very, very, bad indeed.”


        The next morning I woke up with an ache in my stomach. What Mr. Brown had told me was a case I felt I was not ready for. But I still had some confidence left as I put my robe on and went to my sitting room to work.

        As I sat at my desk, looking over files and cases, my eyes stumbled upon the stack of advertisements I had created the last night, when I had decided I wasn't going to sleep anytime soon.

        It was a very Iffy decision- whether I should put up the ad or not, as it might not work, but I had to try.

Walking around my district, I plastered up several advertisements where people would see them. After putting enough up to cover a large church, I looked back at my work.

Wanted;

Male assistant for Female detective.

Requirements- tall, wise, intelligent, must own a suit and tie

MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY AND EFFICIENT

Please contact at 453 Hill Dr nr Manchester Rd

E. O. Mason Detective Agency

between the hours of 5 to 8 in the evening


        Over the next week, people came into my office, then went right out the door. Though I had not expected many people, because it wasn’t very often that a man worked for a woman, my hope plummeted everyday.

        “Was I asking too much for a suit and tie?” I had thought aloud.

And, though some people did meet me in the evenings for an interview, there was always one flaw that made me hold my nose and turn away.....quite literally.

        Once, a man who smelled of boiled eggs and rotten cabbage came in one day, and let us just saw, it didn’t end well.

        Another time, a man came in just to tell me that I am doing wrong asking for a male assistant.

But one the last day, in the last hour of the evening I received a telegram that gave me hope in finding the perfect assistant

DEAR MASON CAME ENGLAND FOR NEW LIFE STOP HAPPY TO ASSIST STOP HAVE 
REQUIREMENTS STOP WILL MEET YOU TOMORROW 8 EVENING STOP -CARDWELL

In the evening of Friday I waited excitedly but Mr. Cardwell to finish his promise and come at 8 o’clock today. I was practically dreaming of what he would look like by the time that the doorbell rang throughout the house.

I jumped out of my seat much t

oo quickly and face planted into my cheap copied “hand woven Persian rug”  and got up just as quick, brushing myself up. i tidied my hair and walked up to my door, taking a deep breath.

Opening the door, I looked down, down, down, at a young blonde boy with rather dirtied clothing and a messenger bag.

“Mr- Mr-Mr. Cardwell?” I asked with disbelief.

“No ma’am. Message for Mason, 453 Hill Dr nr Manchester Rd?” He questioned with uncertainty.

“Yes. That is I” I replied.

He gave me a  handwritten letter the colour of polished ivory, and a faint air of cologne.


Dearest Ms. Mason,

I regret to inform you that I cannot meet with you this evening. I hope you have received this letter in time, as it would be callous of me to let you wait in vain.

I hope it would be equitable to accommodate me at the Manchester Rd nr St. Louis Ave Presbyterian Church at noon tomorrow.

The young man I have hired to deliver this letter will await your response. Again, I am deeply sorry for such inconvenience.


My Regards,
James Cardwell
I quickly got out my parchment paper and quill jotting down my response.

Dear Mr. Cardwell,

Yes that would be most appreciated.  An unfortunate delay is understandable, as I have run into such problems once or twice myself. I shall accommodate you at the church, as you have suggested.


Sincerely,

Elizabeth Oswald Mason

       

     I handed the parchment to the messenger boy, along with a few copper pieces in tip.

     “Thank you ma’am” The boy tipped his hat, and hastened off down the road.        


     That night I slept better. I didn’t know why, but I felt I would be able to handle this case with an assistant who was supposively my employer.

     “He’s just a human who knows nothing of fighting and magic. He is really of no use to me. I just need him as a fake employer” I assured myself (Why, I do not know)

     But it still comforted me, for some reason. After a while of sitting in bed and thinking about it, I decided that I felt I would be better with him because I needed a friend. Every since I moved west- onward from my group of adventurers, I did not have any real being to talk to, other than my fellow owl. But now, it was different. I would have someone to talk to, and a friend. I slept well knowing that.

     At noon, the following day, I walked to the Presbyterian Church close to my house. Creaking open the heavy wooden door, I strode down the empty hall, looking for a place to sit out of the many. Sunlight shined through colorful stain-glassed windows and I was surprised as the sun was not often in the rainy country. 

    I found a seat at the front of the church and awaited the gentleman who I had no idea of his looks.

After 15 minutes, stepfoots were heard echoing across the walls. But I did not turn. I waited patiently until he approached me, just in case it was not to be him. He stood to the right of me, and looked down the row where I sat. I felt his eyes burning in the skin of my neck.

    Slowly, he sat down next to me, and I could smell the air of cologne- the same cologne on the polished ivory letter. I felt his breath on the back of my neck, getting chills down my back, as he leaned in closely and whispered in my ear, “Ms. Mason?”

    Finally, I turned to look at him- and gasped. He was not of what I had expected. A man of colour. His eyes glistened an evening black tone, and his ebony hands rubbed anxiously on his knees.

    “Yes, um, you're here for the interview?” I managed to say.

    I looked over how he looked. Short black trimmed hair, and a noticeably expensive suit. I saw that he wore silver cufflinks, and his shoes were shining black; buffed and clean. And though he was not exactly what I had expected, he was perfect in every way. He was rich, proper, tall,intelligent, wise, and what I saw of him seemed trustworthy and efficient. He was everything I was looking for and much more.

    He answered every question with awe.

    “I was orphaned at 8, then taken in by the Cardwells’ a rich and popular family known across England. I have an older sister, August, from the Cardwell’s side, and a younger brother who was adopted with me at the same time I was adopted.” he explained, “And when seeing your ad, I noticed that people disagreed with your gender, and as I was looking for a job, I decided to prove them wrong. Thus so, I am here before you. But now that I look at you, you are different than others. I see that you are wise, and don’t truly need help- hmmm, or do you? So if you don’t need help, then why am I here?” he asked.

    I sat there, bewildered. How he had read so much information, I had no idea.

    “Um, um.... Yes. You are right. I need you because I can’t have any cases without a man to supposively be my ‘employer’” I explained to him openly.

    “Awe. I see. Well, have I met your expectations to put me in this position?”

    “Yes- you will do. Their were others much better than you, but you seemed pretty determined to get this job.” I told him

He grinned.

    “You're lying, Ms. Mason. I can see right through you.”

    I grinned back.

    “Maybe”


    The next day, I showed him my burdened case. He stood behind me, looking right over my shoulder at my scribbled notes.

    I explained the mission to him, “This sword. It is a legendary artifact of great power. It is intelligent. It is cursed to have the enchantment to make people go crazy. Its only purpose is to kill all people. And if given to anyone, then anyone will be the wrong hands. Even if I were to hold it, it’s curse would take over me, and I would be a psycho killer. This sword is dangerous.”

I took a deep breath, “And the best part is, it has been stolen, and now I have to find it before the thief does something he might regret. I-”

Mr. Cardwell put his hand up, “Did you mean now we have to find it before the thief does something he might regret?”

    I sunked my head,”yeeeesssss. Fine” 

   “So, Ms. Mason, if may I ask, what is your plan to obtain this sword without getting swallowed by the curse itself?” he asked in wonder.

   “Don’t you mean what is our plan to obtain the sword without getting swallowed by the curse itself?” I asked in reply.

   “Okay, then. Shall we get to work?”


   The next day, we met in the park, and went off to the black market to find the sword known as “Black Evil”

   Looking at the less fortunate people, Mr. Cardwell and I felt a surge of guilt, looking at our own lives compared to them. An kind old lady came up to me and offered pieces of clothing in exchange for food. I took out my satchel and handed her the last of my bread. She smiled and thanked me, trying to hand me the clothing. I closed her hands, explaining to her that I was giving the bread to her as a gift, but she shook her head.

   “No, I have something special for a pretty young lady like you.” she said, as she walked back into her small home to get it.

   After 5 minutes, she came back out holding a beautiful blue jade bracelet. Carefully, she fastened the bracelet on my wrist, then put her hand on top of mine, as if to say “take care of it”

   Though I did truly love the gorgeous jade bracelet, I couldn't accept it as the woman should sell it for money and food, not give it to me.

   “I can’t-” I started to say but stopped. She looked at me with sad eyes, and I suddenly realized that it would be very rude if I refused to accept her humble gift.

   “Thank you” I said to her with a smile, “Thank you very much.”

   She nodded, and left back into her tiny cottage.

   I examined the bracelet carefully. The chain that held the beads were made of delicate spun silver, and the blue stones shined a beautiful sapphire blue.

   “Well, it looks like you've made a new friend” Mr. Cardwell exclaimed.

   I ignored him.

   “I don’t think the lady knew what she had given to me” I told him, still examining the precious jewelry.

   “No, I don’t believe so” he replied. ©

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